Kink Blog

Love in the Time of Corona: Erotic Massage for One

Love in the Time of Corona: Erotic Massage for One

Apr 23, 20

Depending on where you’re at in the world, it’s very likely that you’re experiencing some form of
social distancing as our global community tries to collectively suppress the spread of COVID-19. One
of the most immediate and universal impacts of social distancing – by the very nature of the concept
– is a sharp decline in physical closeness to other people, quite possibly including our lover(s).
Furthermore, whether we live with our partners or will be spending some time apart from those we
love, for many of us, as we manage the stress of this pandemic sex might be one of the last things on
our minds. 

I want to encourage you to consider including mindful masturbation and erotic massage in your
self-care routine. Being physically distanced from other people can contribute to feelings of
emotional isolation, which will only increase your stress. Engaging in mindful activities that focus
on your own pleasure will help relieve some of the mental and emotional weight on your shoulders.
If you’re able to include a friend or lover in these practices, great, but I encourage you to consider
taking this time to cultivate this relationship with yourself in a deeper way. 


At its core, mindfulness is about being fully present in the moment you’re in. Our brains have
evolved to become easily distracted. We’ve got a phone to our left, a computer in our laps, a TV on in
the distance, a partner or roommate or kid in the next room, music in the background…. We’re used
to constant distraction and very rarely are we completely and totally in the here-and-now,
completely focused only on what’s immediately in front of us. Ever make it to the end of a podcast
and not remember a word that was said? Ever eat a meal and not remember the taste of a single

Ever get all the way to work and not remember the route you took?
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to just one moment at a time. Mindful meditation is a
practice where you sit still and focus on your breath. The goal is to relax your mind and become
completely engaged only in the act of meditation. Sit in a comfortable position – legs crossed on a
cushion on the floor, or in a comfortable chair with your feet planted and your back straight. You
don’t want to be too comfy, because then you might fall asleep, but if you’re too uncomfortable you
won’t be able to focus on anything else. Put your phone away, but maybe set a timer for 5 minutes.
Depending on how hectic the rest of your life is, at first doing this for even five minutes might seem
like a lot to take on, so start small. Many people find it easy to start by closing their eyes. Take a deep
breath in through your nose and slowly let it out through your mouth. Try to focus only on your
breath. Breathe in to the slow count of five, then out to the slow count of six. In to six, out to seven.
In to seven, out to eight. Then in and out to the slow count of eight. Your mind will start to wander,
when it does, notice it without judging it, and then come back to your breath. Practice this until your
timer beeps and then be done. Take some time to see how that feels. Get up slowly and be gentle
with yourself in the time following your meditation. Make it a goal to work up to 15 minutes. Then,
maybe, 30. 

Mindful masturbation

What you’re learning from the practice above is how to be totally in-the-moment. Bringing this
practice to your masturbation habits can be life changing. I encourage folks who are new to this to
start without using any toys, even if you’re used to using toys when you masturbate. The goal here is
not to orgasm, the goal is simply to be fully present with your body and your breath. Doing this in a
warm bath or in your soft bed is a great place to start. 

Get into a comfortable position and close your eyes. You’ll practice focusing on the way it feels to
touch yourself – from the top of your body, down your chin and neck, across your chest, over your
tummy, on your ass and thighs, and between your legs.  Go slow and be methodical. Breathe and
touch. Notice the way your fingers glide over your skin. If you decided to keep any clothing on,
notice the way that clothing feels against your hands and against your body. If your mind starts to
wander, notice the thoughts and then let them go without judgement. Come back to your breath and
the way it feels to be touched. Try this for 5, 10, 15 minutes. Then more, if you like. After each
session, notice the way you felt and the way you feel. 

If you’d like to include orgasm in this practice, try to vary your experience. Sometimes you can try to
allow orgasm to come as it will. Sometimes you can try to delay it for a bit and see how that feels.
The most important part of the practice is being fully present with yourself. Remember – phone off. 

Erotic massage

This is where we bring back the toys, but we get creative. We often see sex toys marketed as
“personal massagers” but how often do we take the time to explore their use as more than orgasm
machines? Maybe you use this as time to reconsider toys that haven’t been favorites in the past – or
maybe you become re-acquainted with your trusty sidekick in new ways. Consider the ways your
toys feel on parts of your body they weren’t necessarily marketed for. Consider how they feel as
pressure point massagers, combine them with (compatible) lubes and integrate them with your
mindfulness practice for a full-body experience. Touch your body in ways that you aren’t used to
touching yourself and notice how that feels. 

You can invite a lover (or two, or three) into this practice with you, or you can do this alone. If you’re
socially distancing yourself from your lover(s) consider looping them in remotely and practice
erotic mindfulness together, staying fully present with each other and taking turns focusing on each
other’s pleasure. 

I know this is a stressful time for everyone, and I hope you’re able to find relief in small and large
ways. I hope this has given you some good ways to start thinking about your sexuality as part of
your self-care and discussing it with your partner(s). If you are interested in additional education or
coaching around this, please don’t hesitate to reach out: 

About the Author:
Professor   Sex   (aka:   Angel   Russell;   they/them) is   a   queer,   non-binary, sex-positive educator,
academic, and activist with more than 8 years’ experience as a sexuality educator and over 4 years
engaged in research. They are currently a master’s candidate fi nishing a thesis in Psychological
Science.   Their   research   interests   focus   on   the   intersections   between social   and   personality
psychology particularly   regarding   alternative   (nonnormative)   sexual   identity,   orientation,   and
behavior.   In  2019  their   research  on  Individual  Differences  in   Coming   Out   as  LGBT+  received  a
professional paper award nomination from Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA). Angel is
a   member   of   the   Community   Sexual   Health   Education   and   Research   Initiative   ( CSHERI ),   a
collaborative  group of researchers, community stakeholders,  community agencies,  and sexuality
professionals working together to conduct research and programming in the area of sexual health.
Angel is a sexuality education provider for the  Jacksonville Center for Sexual Health . In addition,
Angel   is   on   the   editorial   board   for Journal of Counseling Sexology & Sexual Wellness: Research,
Practice, and Education .  Angel’s work was recently included as a resource in   Teaching Safer Sex –
Abridged Edition , curriculum developed by the Center for Sex Education. Angel is also listed in the​

Kink and Poly Aware Professionals Directory  through the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom.
They are also the “A” in “Sex from A to Z”   a sex science podcast, discussing in plain language the
actual   studies   that   inform   how   sex   therapists,   sex   researchers,   sex   educators,   and   medical
professionals make decisions about sexual health and wellness. “Sex from A to Z” can be found on
YouTube, anywhere else you listen to podcasts, and at .
They can be found in a number of places online, so it’s best to start at and go from

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